surveyor, theodolite, construction project

5 surveys you might need in construction and why

16th August 2022   |   Jamie Barrett   |   Reading Time: 3 minutes

Surveys – everyone in construction is familiar with them. Some are compulsory and requested by planning, others may be worth their weight in assessing and establishing the viability of a building project.

Each survey has its own reasoning and use, and there are numerous varieties of surveys depending on the type of project.  Some surveys are very niche and specific, others are applicable to many projects – here are five of the most common surveys you might need in a construction project and why.

Land survey

What is a land survey?

A land survey is a report of information about an area of land. It includes 2D information like boundaries and structures, and 3D information like elevation levels, topography, and land features.

Why you need a land survey

A land survey provides accurate measurements of the site and analysis of the make-up of the land – essential for any new plans and constructions. It can highlight any potential problems or obstacles before you start building and support deeds and legal disputes. A detailed and accurate land survey will save time and money in the long-term of the project.

Structural survey

What is a structural survey?

A structural survey involves the inspection of any existing properties or structures on the site to provide a detailed evaluation of their condition.

A structural survey is particularly useful when existing structures are intended to be repurposed and included in new plans but is also relevant to the structural design of any new structures that are to be constructed in a project.

Why you need a structural survey

A structural survey is essential in evaluating the condition and potential renovation of existing structures – it will highlight any risks or problems such as cracks and damp, assess the suitability of the structures for conversion, and suggest steps to make those structures viable and safe.

A structural survey should be undertaken by a qualified structural engineer.

Ecological survey

What is an ecological survey?

An ecological survey assesses any environmental impact the development may have on the local ecology and existing habitats.

Why you need an ecological survey

An ecology survey is required on any site where there is a possibility of an existing ecosystem or habitat for protected species.  Typically, this is in areas like heathland, woodland, coastal areas, meadows, near water like lakes or ponds, hedgerows, and existing derelict buildings where protected flora and fauna like bats, badgers, or birds, might reside.

If the site is on, or impacts, an ecological area, an ecological survey should be instigated as early as possible. Suitable timings for the survey may be dependent upon species’ active seasons and if something is detected, there will be steps that will need to be followed to ensure the proposed development doesn’t harm the local habitats and ecology.

Tree survey

What is a tree survey?

BS5837 is the British Standard for Trees in relation to design, demolition, and construction.

If the development site contains, or is near to, trees, a tree survey, arboricultural, or BS5837 survey, is likely to be needed.

BS5837 applies to all trees that could be affected during the design, demolition, or construction phase of a development.

Why you need a tree survey

Tree surveys are intended to protect the trees, their ecosystems, and the environment, but the survey also safeguards and protects the development by ensuring that any trees on the site don’t pose a danger to the finished buildings.

The tree survey will identify the existence and status of trees and assess them according to the British Standard. If any trees are deemed to be affected by the project, an arboricultural impact assessment will also be needed.

A tree survey should be undertaken by a specialist arboriculturist.

Noise Survey

What is a noise survey?

A noise survey may be requested by the local authority during the planning stages of a construction project when the construction process and activities are expected to cause high levels and long durations of noise that could impact upon the surrounding area.

Why you need a noise survey

A noise survey will assess the likely levels of noise and vibration from the project and the surrounding areas that may be affected by that noise.

A noise survey is particularly applicable to sites that are in close proximity to residents, businesses, and people, and to large projects where there are likely to be higher levels of construction and noise.

BS5228 is the British Standard for the mitigation of noise and vibration arising from construction projects.  The construction noise assessment may suggest ways in which noise can be mitigated such as restricted hours of working.

How Evolution5 can help you

Whatever the survey you require, having it done by a professional specialist is sometimes mandatory and always invaluable.  

Evolution5 is an award-winning, RICS registered professional consultancy offering construction management, project management, quantity surveying, employer’s agent, and contract administration services for projects across London and the South East.

As part of our service to clients, we advise on the appropriate surveys required for your project and ensure suitably qualified people are appointed to deliver them.

If you have a construction project and would like to explore how the team can help you, click the button below or call 023 8040 5073.